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Unread 26 Oct 16, 08:48 PM  
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#1
Sotong
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The Big Apple and a Big Ship! - pre trip report

Whilst researching my latest holiday and for next summer I wondered if someone had done a pre trip report that would help me with my planning, e.g. dates to book things, what to see etc. I found some NY reports but decided in order to assist with my planning and also to get the input of and advice from other DIBBers I would do my first pre trip report.

So firstly a bit about me and my travel companion aka my daughter Harriet who is 13.




In 2013 my 20 year old relationship and marriage came to an amicable end, after sorting out a new house for me and my daughter who lives with me for part of the week I decided that we needed to make some new memories.
In the process of booking a dream trip to Florida I found the DIBB and with your help I booked, planned and had the most amazing 2 weeks staying on site first at Universal and then Disney.
In 2015 not being able to justify the cost of Florida again we replicated some of the experiences with a week at Port Aventura and then a week on Disney Magic in the Mediterranean. We've cruised in the past and both love this sort of holiday.
This year 2016 we had a low cost but really relaxing and fun holiday at my mums apartment in Majorca but before we went I had started to think about another big trip for 2017.

I considered the West Coast of the USA but decided Harriet my daughter who is 13 would be too young to appreciate the road trip, beaches etc, we also fancied more cruising, so we have decided to fly to New York and then cruise from there to the Caribbean on Royal Caribbeans Anthem of the Seas.


Edited at 03:39 PM.
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Unread 26 Oct 16, 09:27 PM  
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Melbatb
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Sounds like a fab trip!

I am off to NYC at Christmas with my DH, and our DS 15 and DD 12! It is a fab city!
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Unread 26 Oct 16, 09:39 PM  
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Sotong
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In July 2016 I started to research prices of cruises from New York with options being NCL or Anthem of the Seas. I've been obsessed with these large ships since seeing them in Southampton prior to their maiden voyages and it wasn't a hard decision to book Anthem.
I contacted my usual cruise agent Iglu, my local Virgin travel agent in Debenhams which is across the road from my office and Royal Caribbean direct via website and on the phone to get prices and options

First decision before booked was which cabin or stateroom to book on the ship, in the past we have usually booked inside cabins, we have been upgraded for free to outside twice but are happy with an inside as only use it to sleep or recharge and get changed / showered and the like. However with this being a summer school holiday cruise all insides were booked, next category is outsides (with a window) but as most of these are in the front of the ship and it may be hurricane season I decided this wasn't a good idea, so went for a balcony cabin. Usually this upgrade would be another 1000 for a 9 day cruise but as the balconies were only another few hundred pounds and the difference between a lower D5 category and the best D1 balcony was another 100 my mind was made up we were booking a D1 balcony in a great position on deck 12. If anyone is interested in my view on best place to be in a cruise ship I can write about this in a later post!

First stop to research booking was Virgin who assured my they were the only ones that could book flights this far out (just over 12 months), they quoted my a price of 7k for flights, cruise and hotel. Mmmm more than I expected! So back to the internet.

Iglu were quoting 2,300 per person on line and Royal Caribbean were similar so I contacted both of them and got prices at just under 4K excluding our hotels in New York.
Royal Caribbean could only guarantee their quoted price if we only added a single night pre cruise stay. We wanted more than one night in New York which Iglu could accommodate even chatting to me about possible areas to stay.

So in July 2016 I booked! We fly to New York on Monday 31 July spending 3 nights in NY before joining the ship on Thursday 3rd August, after getting a tip on the DIBB we area not flying back straight away at the end of the cruise so we return to New York on Saturday 12th and fly back to the UK on Monday 15th after 2 more nights in NY.
Flights will be Virgin, American or BA and will be confirmed later, I will also need to research and book hotels nearer the time.

Will try to add more photos in future posts!

Edited at 10:55 AM.
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Unread 26 Oct 16, 09:40 PM  
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Sotong
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Originally Posted by Melbatb View Post
Sounds like a fab trip!

I am off to NYC at Christmas with my DH, and our DS 15 and DD 12! It is a fab city!
Thanks for reading, I would be interested to hear what you have planned and where you are staying.

Gillian.
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Unread 26 Oct 16, 10:01 PM  
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Melbatb
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The cruise sounds wonderful! I can't persuade my lot to try!

As we are in NYC for 10 nights we are staying in Home2Suites on Long Island City. Two reasons why. First was we really wanted 3 beds -DS and DD won't share (and nobody really wants to share with DS as he is the biggest fidgeter known to man! ) and secondly cost. LIC is pnly 2 stops from Times Square!

I have only booked SOL Crown tickets so far. Will book a NBA and a NH L game but am in a planning lull at the moment! It is my fourth trip but everyone else's first!

We will do TOTR, ESB, intrepid, Highline, Central Park, Brooklyn Bridge, some of the museums and perhaps Coney Island! With 9 full days we can do a lot
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2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City
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Unread 27 Oct 16, 05:52 PM  
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Sotong
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Pre Trip continued - August

August 2016 - we spent 2 weeks in the sun of Majorca but when we returned in late August I got on with planning and finding out all about the ship, the Caribbean islands we visit and what to do in New York.

NEW YORK
Watched Hannah O'Dells great vlog of their family trip to New York, Hannah's mum is a DIBBer and recommended the vlog on the general trip planning pages.
Hannah and her sister are a bit older than Harriet, but got loads of ideas of things to see and do. Harriet also enjoyed watching this as she is a wannabe you tuber and vlogger and loves shopping just like Hannah and her sister. She's not into planning though as she likes things to be a surprise when she gets there and not know about it in advance. She has contributed to which shops we should visit though (more about that strategy later!).

THE CRUISE - Anthem of the Seas
As mentioned above I've cruised a number of times before including on one of the smaller Royal Caribbean ships, I also live on the south coast and work in Southampton so spend summer lunch breaks and evenings longingly looking at ships and watching them sail! Yes I'm a bit of a geek!

Anthem of the Seas is 170,000 tonnes with 20 passenger decks, 2090 staterooms (cabins) for approx 4500 passengers depending on whether all of the upper bunks are used.

Loads to do on the ship including a Flowrider, North Star, wave pool, skydiving simulator, rock climbing and a puzzle room plus the usual pools, shows, movies and of course food from at least 15 venues including some that you have to pay additional for and need pre booking (more planning! for a later date)



Itinerary we sail from Cape Liberty Port in Bayonne which is across the Hudson River from Manhattan on Thursday 3rd August, usually sail away is about 4pm so we will have the morning in NY before getting transport (something else to plan!).
Friday 4th at sea
Saturday 5th in Bermuda
Sunday 6th at sea
Monday 7th St Maarten
Tuesday 8th San Juan, Puerto Rico
Wednesday 9th Labadee on Haiti, which is Royal Caribbeans private resort
Then 2 days at sea returning back to New York early morning on Saturday 12th August.



So lots of research and planning to do for these ports and places as Ive never been to the Caribbean before. Started to look on Cruise Critic a similar site to the DIBB but more American users and not as friendly!

Edited at 03:30 PM.
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Unread 27 Oct 16, 06:29 PM  
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Melbatb
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Have you looked on the cruise forum here?
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Index of my trip reports
2016 Quebec - Kuala Lumpar - New York City 2017 Dubai - Eurocamps France - Ontario and Quebec - So-Cal 2018 Montreal - Bangkok - New England 2019 Argentina - Quebec City
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Unread 1 Nov 16, 12:37 PM  
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abiknox
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This sounds like an incredible trip! NYC is an amazing place on it's own but to then tag a cruise on... dream!
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We are off again!
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